Pope Francis told around 100 apostolic nuncios that it is “irreconcilable” to have the job and criticise the Pope “behind his back”. Source: Crux.
The comment came days after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal representative to the US, renewed his criticism of the Pope.
Archbishop Viganò made headlines last August when he released an open letter calling on Francis to resign for allegedly disregarding restrictions placed on ex-cardinal and now ex-priest Theodore McCarrick.
Francis’s words came in the prepared remarks he handed to the nuncios gathered in Rome for what has become a once every three years meeting between the Pope and the heads of the Vatican’s diplomatic missions around. However, he decided to let the prelates read the speech, and instead spoke to them off-the-cuff behind closed doors. The speech wasn’t broadcast, and the Vatican press office said it didn’t expect a transcript of the encounter to be released.
On Wednesday, Alessandro Gisotti, the Vatican spokesman, confirmed that Archbishop Viganò is not attending the June 12-15 meeting, though retired nuncios were invited to participate on Friday.
On Tuesday, Archbishop Viganò gave an interview to The Washington Post. He answered 40 questions sent via email, and reiterated that his public accusations against the Pope were made “out of love for the Church,” which he said, “is going through one of the most turbulent moments in her history”.
“Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers,” he wrote.
Francis also said that it is irreconcilable to “have blogs or even join groups hostile to him [the Pope], the Curia and the Church of Rome”.
The Pope acknowledged that every person can have “reservations, likes and dislikes,” but a good nuncio can’t be “hypocritical” because he serves as a bridge between the Vicar of Christ and the people whom he serves.
Pope Francis meets with Papal Representatives (Vatican News)